Top 10 Roundup
UNC pulls away late; Penn State wins in penalty shootout
No. 3 North Carolina 5, No. 7 Boston College 2
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina earned a 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference win against Boston College on Saturday afternoon in a game that felt much closer than the final score would suggest. After the Tar Heels scored the first three before halftime, BC closed the gap with two of its own before UNC got some late-game breathing room with two more goals.
UNC improved to 11-2 overall and 3-2 in ACC play with the win at Francis E. Henry Stadium, while the visiting Eagles fell to 11-4 overall and 1-3 in the ACC.
The Tar Heels got what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the third minute of play, on the team's second penalty corner of the afternoon. Sophomore Emma Bozek deflected in a ball from junior Samantha Travers for her fifth goal of the fall.
Carolina's next two goals also came on corners. In the 12th minute, junior Charlotte Craddock sent a hard shot into the cage, assisted by graduate student Janne Grove and sophomore Emily Wold. In the 15th minute, Craddock assisted on a goal, sending a ball to the left of the cage where junior Loren Shealy redirected in to put the Tar Heels up 3-0 at halftime.
On a penalty corner in the 40th minute, junior Emma Plasteras redirected a ball from sophomore Romee Stiekema at the left post and sent it into the goal behind UNC goalkeeper Shannon Johnson for Plasteras' team-high 11th goal of the season. In the 52nd minute BC struck on another corner, with freshman Emily McCoy scoring her eighth goal of the season on an assist from senior Hannah Mulvey.
In the 63rd minute, sophomore Casey Di Nardo scored the first of two goals to give the Tar Heels a bit of a cushion. Travers passed the ball downfield to Di Nardo, who carried it into the circle and went one-on-one with BC goalkeeper Leah Settipane to score and put the Tar Heels up 4-2. After the UNC goal, the Eagles took a timeout and pulled Settipane in favor of an extra field player. The offensive effort was unsuccessful and Di Nardo eventually took advantage of the goalie's absence, scoring into an empty cage on a pass from Wold in the 69th minute, after which Settipane re-entered the game.
No. 5 Penn State 4, Michigan State 3
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- With its perfect Big Ten record and nine-match winning streak in serious jeopardy, Penn State, in its final home match of the season, dug deep against Michigan State who was also unbeaten in Big Ten play. Penn State scored twice in the final five minutes of regulation to tie the match at 3-3 and then completed the comeback victory by surviving two overtime sessions before coming through in the penalty shootout to win 4-3.
The Blue and White trailed by a score of 3-1 in the 66th minute, unable to find the back of the cage the entire second half, despite having multiple penalty corner opportunities and shots that the team could not convert into goals. Then everything changed for the Lions.
A pair of seniors in Brittany Grzywacz and Whitney Reddig got the PSU comeback in motion. Grzywacz fired a shot off a penalty corner toward the goal and Reddig astutely redirected the ball into the cage to close the Spartan lead to just one at 3-2.
The goal lit a fire under Penn State, as the team poured forward trying to tie the match before the time ran out. Just under two minutes after Reddig's goal, the Nittany Lions found the equalizer.
Senior Abby Fuhrman ripped a shot from the right of the circle that was stopped by the MSU keeper and Taylor Herold was there to collect the rebound and place the ball in the net to tie the match and give the Lions new life. The goal was Herold's second of the match and the team-leading 10th of the season.
Herold's goal in the penalty shootout gave the Lions a 3-1 win and gives the Lions their 10th consecutive win and places them alone atop the Big Ten standings with a record of 4-0.
No. 9 Princeton 6, Brown 2
PROVIDENCE, R. I. -- Led by a well-balanced attack, Princeton extended its Ivy League winning ways with a 6-2 victory against Brown on Saturday afternoon. The victory improves the Tigers to 8-4, 4-0 Ivy on the year and extends the squad’s conference win streak to 17.
In a lopsided offensive match, the Tigers held a 46-4 shot advantage, including a 28-2 on goal differential. Princeton was awarded 16 penalty corners, eight in each half, to Brown’s pair.
Princeton’s trio of sophomore Teresa Benvenuti and seniors Michelle Cesan and Julia Reinprecht led the offense with multi-point efforts. Cesan had two goals and an assist, while Reinprecht scored twice and Benvenuti had a goal and two assists.
Despite the Tigers’ flurry of shots, it took them until the 25th minute to capitalize. On their fifth penalty corner of the afternoon, Benvenuti sent in the go-ahead score off assists from Cesan and Annabeth Donovan.
Brown would not see a shot for the remainder of the half, as Princeton doubled its advantage before the break. Cat Caro picked up a Benvenuti deflection to make it 2-0 at 33:34.
Reinprecht opened the second period with consecutive goals, scoring the game winner at the 38:52-minute mark off a rebound.
She pounced again seven minutes later; this time off another successfully executed penalty corner play. Following the serve and stop, Benvenuti dished the ball to an unmarked Reinprecht outside the cage to put Princeton up 4-0 in the 46th minute.
After shutting out their last two Ivy opponents, the Tigers’ string of conference clean sheets ended with a Meghan O’Donnell goal in the 49th minute.
Responding from the Bear strike, Cesan followed Reinprecht’s suit and added consecutive goals of her own. The first came in the 57th minute, as she picked up a Benvenuti deflection. A minute later, sandwiched between Cesan’s goals was a second from the Bears. Brown only had two shots on target in the match, both from O’Donnell for goals.
Cesan rounded out her five-point outing with a straight on shot to put Princeton up 6-2 in the 65th minute.